It’s no secret that the Internet has revolutionised the way we carry out activities like communicating, working, dating and shopping. Buying what we need online is undoubtedly convenient, but should it really replace the joy of perusing your local high street in person?
A similar question was probably asked in the 20th century when larger chain stores and supermarkets began to dominate the retail industry: should these superstores replace the experience of popping into your local butcher, post office or bakery? It’s a question that is still valid today, as independent retailers continue to battle for survival against big brands and online shopping carts.
Here are five reasons why you should be electing to spend your money with local businesses.
You will be boosting the local economy by spending
Choosing to spend your money in a local retailer rather than a chain means you are providing more support to your surrounding area, which can come back to benefit you personally. Research by local authorities has shown that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p stayed in the local economy. This compares to just 40p when shopping at a larger brand.
Further research has shown that independent retailers can also boost the desirability and house prices in the area. The study by American Express found that homes located near thriving, unique high streets have seen prices rise on average £40,000 more over the past decade than other properties.
You’ll find items you wouldn’t find anywhere else
When you shop at independent local retailers, you are far more likely to spend your money on something truly unique. Buying a dress from a fledgling designer means you and your friend aren’t going to turn up for lunch wearing the same thing; buying your nephew a toy from a local store guarantees they don’t receive the same gift multiple times over. The list goes on.
It’s the greenest option
There was once a time when you could only buy certain fruits and veg when they were in season, but thanks to the supermarkets’ habit of shipping over produce from overseas, this is no longer the case. However, buying plastic-wrapped exotic strawberries from the supermarket significantly increases your carbon footprint. Shopping local with businesses that have a supply chain within the region ensures that local produce stays local. This also shows support for local farmers and typically entails less packaging. If that wasn’t enough, food that travels shorter distances has less time to deteriorate and lose both nutritional value and flavour.
You will be helping to build communities
Even without the moral and financial benefits of independent retailers, most people are unanimous of the mindset that they are simply nice to have around. Bookshops, craft shops, cafes and boutiques drum up custom and often host exciting community events. Markets are another way of bringing communities together, as stalls often act as social spaces as well as retail outlets.
By shopping local, you’re also supporting another, wider community. The new, independent retailers of today may one day become the next generation of successful UK entrepreneurs. Supporting ambitious businesses ensures that the innovation and passion they display stays strong.
You could get a better deal
Things are generally less formal and rigid when you shop at independent retailers. While big brands will have set offers at any given time, small stores are generally more prepared to negotiate on price, or offer extra treats and samples when you spend. If you get talking to a trader about something they sell that interests you, they are much more likely than a big supermarket or chain to let you try before you buy.
If you are a budding retailer in need of support, look no further than TEDCO. We can help get your business idea off the ground and into the spotlight. Call today on 0191 516 61 02 or email us at us at firstname.lastname@example.org.